Taking a plea by the survivor into consideration, the Kerala High Court on Monday allowed for a woman judge to preside over the actress assault case in which actor Dileep and others have been accused. Justice Raja Vijayaraghavan allocated the case to CBI special court judge Honey M Varghese.
According to Live Law, Justice Vijaya Raghavan, in his judgement, said that the transfer of the case will “safeguard the interest of the victim” and will be “expedient in the interest of justice”.
The survivor had moved High Court after Ernakulam Sessions Court rejected her government-backed plea to transfer the case to a Sessions Court headed by a woman. The court, while allowing for other requests like holding an in-camera trial and banning media publications of the proceedings, rejected her plea saying that no women additional session judges were available in the district, reported ET.
In the High Court, accused actor Dileep’s counsel had argued that no special privilege was necessary for the actress. However, the court did not accept this argument and said that the survivor was well within her rights to make such a plea. Dileep has been accused of being a conspirator in the case.
Pulsar Suni, the main accused who allegedly carried out the abduction, did not object to the transfer of the case as long as it was not shifted out of the district. The attack on the actress occurred in February 2017. She was molested on a moving vehicle and it was recorded on camera. She was then blackmailed and told that the video would be circulated if she approached the police.
Dileep was arrested by the police on July 10, 2017 and spent 85 days in custody before being let out on bail on October 3.
In December last year, The Kerala High Court rejected Dileep’s plea seeking a CBI investigation into the case. The actor, who is the 8th accused, claimed in his plea that he was being framed by the Kerala police.
The court rejected his plea, and said that the accused could not demand for any agency to investigate the case.